Title

Budget Tesla: An Autonomous Solution for Campus Transportation

Lead Author Major

Computer Engineering

Lead Author Status

Senior

Second Author Major

Electrical Engineering

Second Author Status

Senior

Third Author Major

Electrical Engineering

Third Author Status

Senior

Fourth Author Major

Computer Engineering

Fourth Author Status

Senior

Fifth Author Major

Computer Engineering

Fifth Author Status

Senior

Format

SOECS Senior Project

Faculty Mentor Name

Elizabeth Basha

Faculty Mentor Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Rahim Khoie

Additional Faculty Mentor Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Abstract/Artist Statement

Pacific's campus is just the right size to walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. However, for students with injuries or disabilities, this 15-minute trip is magnified, and it can make a trip from one class to another impossible if the time in-between is too small. The goal of this project was to create an autonomous system that would enable the transfer of people around campus, specifically targeted towards those for whom travel is more difficult and time-consuming. To fill this niche, we refurbished an abandoned electric golf cart and rigged it with the processing and perceptive hardware necessary for automation.

Designing and implementing the system took place in distinct blocks, assigned among the team members. To analyze camera data and detect obstacles, a convolutional neural network is paired with a short-range FMCW radar sensor. Based on the sensor input, a mini computer processes the data and computes what the motor control should do in order to get the golf cart from point A to B in a safe manner. The path between those points is calculated and tracked via an onboard GPS unit. These electronics are powered by a marine battery coupled with buck converters. A microcontroller-operated winch is used to activate the brake pedal and the throttle is controlled with a digital potentiometer. The cart's power is supplied by a refurbished array of batteries, sufficient for several hours of operation.

Location

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Start Date

7-5-2022 2:30 PM

End Date

7-5-2022 4:00 PM

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May 7th, 2:30 PM May 7th, 4:00 PM

Budget Tesla: An Autonomous Solution for Campus Transportation

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Pacific's campus is just the right size to walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. However, for students with injuries or disabilities, this 15-minute trip is magnified, and it can make a trip from one class to another impossible if the time in-between is too small. The goal of this project was to create an autonomous system that would enable the transfer of people around campus, specifically targeted towards those for whom travel is more difficult and time-consuming. To fill this niche, we refurbished an abandoned electric golf cart and rigged it with the processing and perceptive hardware necessary for automation.

Designing and implementing the system took place in distinct blocks, assigned among the team members. To analyze camera data and detect obstacles, a convolutional neural network is paired with a short-range FMCW radar sensor. Based on the sensor input, a mini computer processes the data and computes what the motor control should do in order to get the golf cart from point A to B in a safe manner. The path between those points is calculated and tracked via an onboard GPS unit. These electronics are powered by a marine battery coupled with buck converters. A microcontroller-operated winch is used to activate the brake pedal and the throttle is controlled with a digital potentiometer. The cart's power is supplied by a refurbished array of batteries, sufficient for several hours of operation.